This....is the Brooks Pure Grit.
The only shoe built for trail in the Pure line up.
Made to be able to "feel" the ground you run on, light enough to feel like you're flying down the rocky path and flexible enough to mimic some natural foot movements.
So how did it hold up?
I was given this shoe for participating in the Blog for Brooks campaign, which to note that I'm failing terribly at engaging people on Facebook about Brooks.
Don't mind me....I am having trouble staying awake with my alternating work shifts therefore sleeping and running seemed like a higher priority than blogging and pimping my Facebook Fan Page.
But continue to try, I will.
If left to my own devices....I'd never buy this shoe out of my own money.
The Pure line shoes left a very bad taste in my mouth.....and subsequently I did not think that highly of the Pure shoes.....
Despite all that....when I was searching for the "perfect" pair of trail shoes....the thought of these came across my mind momentarily....but I shrugged it off....considering many people have griped about the grip....or lack of it.
But since it is FREE (#thepoweroffree), I figured why not.
* I do have to say....that the colour is AWESOME!!!!!
* And I like how matchy-matching my toe nail colours are to the shoe...
* The grip...of lack of it?
I had my reservations about the shoe fit. Especially with my previous experience with the Pure shoes which are generally narrower in the forefoot region....
Thankfully the Pure Grit had a better fit.
The forefoot area was wide enough.....and the shoe felt good and low to the ground.
Took it to Kiara for the very first time and clocked a decent 10.8km on trail.
It hadn't been raining for a few days prior to the morning of this trial.
So the trail has been kinda dry.
So the route I took for this run was.....the Office....up to Lung Buster via reverse Coronary Bypass....halfway through cut out onto the tarmac and jogged down to the start of Magic Carpet.....the initial part of Magic Carpet then cut out to 4-K.....all the way up until the shelter hut. Then back down 2-K complete loop....and once down, reverse 2-K but this time hop off the trail and jogged down the tarmac to the end of Magic Carpet and all the way back to the front of the trail. Cross over to the other side and continue up Lung Buster, halfway through, turn around and run back down going back via Coronary Bypass.
I wasn't very confident about the shoes so avoided most of the rockier sections.
So far....the shoes were great to run with.
It was light and I felt nimble.
The sole was thick enough to protect from the gnarly stones and roots jutting out from the trail but thin and soft enough to give you some feel of what you're running on.
It was also great running on tarmac. Unlike my Brooks Trailblade, it was a bit chunky and bit too stiff to work well on tarmac.
What I didn't like about the shoe...I didn't like the heel box. I felt it was a little loose.
Plus I find the lacing very annoying.
Keeps coming off once the shoe is drenched wet with trickling sweat.
Also...it was quite difficult to want to secure the lacing properly at the top to keep the ankle and thus the heel in its proper position without much movement within the heel box.
I took it back 2 more times. And in total mileage, I've done around 28km in them, all purely in Kiara trails.
Unfortunately....the 3rd time, it had been raining the day before and certain sections of the trail were wet.
Lets just say that whatever that was said about the grip of the outsole was entirely true.
I slipped a few times while walking over wet stones and huge rocks, that in my experience prior while wearing the Trailblade was a no-issue.
So what do I think?
Well....I like the shoe enough to keep running in them on days that may guarantee me a dry trail run.
I like how it feels and aesthetic wise, it ain't that bad looking a shoe.
It is very unfortunately that someone at Brooks did not give much after thought about the outsole and its grip.
This shoe has great potential to be a serious competitor in the minimalist trail shoe run-up.
However if something is not done about the grip.......well, then it'll still be a pretty decent road running shoe!
In a nutshell...I enjoy them very much....and highly recommended if the trails you're running aren't very technical and you would prefer something of a hybrid that would do decently on road as well.
However, if you're aiming to run ultras and proper trail races (UPM Salomon Trail Run is NOT a proper trail....let's just agree on that), then I suggest to have another pair of proper trail shoes. Perhaps the all famous Brooks Cascadia...or my humble Trailblade.
Also...thank you Brooks for the free shoe.
I would have never thought of trying them if I had to pay through my own wallet.